Over the past two decades, Tom Cruise has produced, starred in and performed in the most mind-blowing stunts in the Mission: Impossible films, a global cultural phenomenon that has grossed more than $2.8 billion worldwide, making it one of the most successful franchises in movie history.
Now he returns for a sixth film in his role as Impossible Missions Force (IMF) team leader Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible – Fallout (in Philippine cinemas July 25).
According to Cruise, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a culmination of all of the previous films in the series. “You’re going to see characters brought back and storylines brought to a conclusion,” he says. “At the beginning of the film, the book The Odyssey was chosen for a very specific reason. The journey my character, Ethan Hunt, and his team go through is an odyssey inspired by and reflective of that story. It’s an epic personal tale, and there are enormous emotional stakes for the characters.”
Cruise, who launched the franchise in 1996, brings an unparalleled understanding of what makes a Mission: Impossible film work, observes screenwriter and director Christopher McQuarrie. “Tom is the keeper of the flame. He’s an instinctive, very emotional filmmaker. He knows Ethan Hunt, and he knows what makes him an appealing character on a truly instinctive level.”
McQuarrie believes one of the reasons the franchise remains so popular is Cruise’s insatiable desire to make each film more thrilling and intense than its predecessor. “It never stands still,” says the director, who also directed 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. “But most importantly it never forgets the audience. Tom is first and foremost an entertainer. Everything he’s doing in the movies is to take you places you’ve never been, to show you things you’ve never seen, and to put you in the experience right there with him.”
For Mission: Impossible – Fallout, McQuarrie was eager to explore a darker and more human side of the film’s central character. “Ethan has always been a bit of a mystery,” he observes. “This time I wanted to be more inside his head and feel his connection with other people. The title refers not only to nuclear fallout but also to the fallout of all of Ethan’s good intentions. He has walked into a situation beyond his control, and he has to go through it even though he knows he’s being manipulated.”
Cruise embodies his character in a way that few action stars ever have, concludes producer Jake Myers. “Tom not only brings great drama to the role, but he has the physical ability to do things another performer would not, both by his training and his daring. I think you can probably separate most other action franchises from their stars, but without Tom there really isn’t an Ethan Hunt, at least not the one audiences worldwide have so wholeheartedly embraced.”
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.